Constitution 201

“Total Regulation: LBJ’s Great Society”

Overview

Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society is the logical extension of Progressive political thought and FDR’s New Deal. While the Founders held that the task of good government is to secure its citizens’ natural rights, LBJ argued that government must eradicate all external constraints—legal, economic, educational, and environmental—which hamper the “spiritual fulfillment” of its citizens. The extensive regulations and programs of the Great Society are thus meant to guarantee not only the right to pursue happiness but also the full achievement of it.

Lecture

Readings

Note: all readings link to Hillsdale's online Constitution Reader, also available at ConstitutionReader.com.

Required:

  1. Johnson - "Remarks at the University of Michigan" - Excerpt 1
  2. Johnson - "Remarks at the University of Michigan" - Excerpt 2
  3. Johnson - "Remarks at the University of Michigan" - Excerpt 3
  4. Johnson - "Commencement Address at Howard University" - Excerpt 1
  5. Johnson - "Commencement Address at Howard University" - Excerpt 2
  6. Johnson - "Commencement Address at Howard University" - Excerpt 3
  7. Johnson - "Commencement Address at Howard University" - Excerpt 4

Supplementary:

Download a PDF of the Week 6 supplementary readings.

Q & A Session

Audio-Only Version

Download Audio

Quiz

Please note: in order to take the quiz, you must log in to your account.

Don't have an Online Courses account yet? Register for a free account now!

Kevin Portteus is an Associate Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, where he has taught since 2008. Dr. Portteus is faculty advisor for the Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program, and teaches courses in American political thought and American political institutions.

A visiting graduate faculty member in the American History and Government program at Ashland University, Dr. Portteus formerly taught at Belmont Abbey College and Mountain View College, in Dallas. Having published online through the Washington Times, Human Events, and BigGovernment.com, his book, Executive Details: Public Administration and American Constitutionalism, is under review for publication. He received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Ashland University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in politics from the University of Dallas.